The strength of your email campaign…is only as good as the number of email addresses you have.
The Five Data Decisions that Can Improve Your Casino ROI
Take this simple quiz and
Discover the true facts about email.
The Ten Best Tools for Customer Acquisition
The Ten Best Tools for Customer Acquisition
Have you tried all of these techniques?
by Tino Magnatta
There are a lot of different tools out there to acquire new customers at your property. So which ones should you use? Here’s an analysis of what’s out there and how to use it.
1. Google Search
Google (Paid “Adwords” as well as “Organic Search”) is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal for customer acquisition. It is highly effective and inexpensive, if used properly. Google is especially effective for getting hotel room bookings and filling other non-gaming venues, such as restaurants and concerts/events. Once the campaigns are set up, you can also optimize them even more.
2. Behavorial Targeting
Online advertising utilizing behavioral targeting is very effective and especially powerful since people tend to shop around for hotel rooms, and don’t make their decision immediately. Behavioral targeting allows you to “follow” these potential customers online when they leave your site and serve them ads for your property on different websites. These programs are highly cost-effective and scalable.
3. Prospect Direct Mail/Email Campaigns Using Profiling/Modeling
This is the technique of profiling your best customers who have responded to offers, and modeling their traits and matching them up to opted-in 3rd party databases to find “look-alikes.” For instance, in simplifed terms, if your best customer lives in a 40-mile radius, enjoys golf and has household income of >$200K, then those are the parameters that are used to find the new prospects. Of course, modeling is more complex than that, but you get the idea. The DM or Email campaigns are designed specifcally to get customers in for the first time, so it’s best to offer these customers more value. This process is a little costlier as you have to pay for profiling/modeling, list costs, creative and DM/Email costs, but it is extremely effective if done properly.
4. Facebook/Social Media Advertising
Most social media platforms have advertising that you can buy to acquire new customers, however the Facebook platform is the most effective. Facebook possibly has the most relevant data on customers, so you are able to buy ads and target people who fit into your customer profile. Facebook allows you to also target customers who have visited your website, as well as those who are on your email list so that you can serve them ads on Facebook, and even further, allows you to build broader customer audiences that match the profiles of your current customers. Other platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can also be utilized, but Facebook definitely is the most effective.
Also remember on social media, that content is the most important. All of your staff should be taking photos, showing people the staff and how happy they are and all the activities at the casino, as well as encouraging customers to post on their favorite social media sites. It is then up to you to get the user to your website or on your email list so you own that relationship.
5. Affliate Marketing
An often overlooked marketing tool for customer acquisition, Affliate Marketing provides hotel/casinos a network of publishers that promote your offer on different websites and online media channels. One thing to remember about Affliate Marketing is that it is performance-based advertising, not just Cost-Per-Click (CPC), but Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), so the better the commission for the advertiser, the more they will promote you. Sometimes this can be more effective than other online advertising channels. This channel is again most effective for hotel rooms, shows and concerts/events where an online sale can be tracked.
6. Email Marketing to Customers of Travel-Specifc Websites
There are not a lot of prospect email databases that work, but there are a few travel deal websites that have collected responsive email databases, upwards of 20MM+, and they work very well when good or “exclusive” deals are provided. These programs are also great for hotel bookings, restaurants, shows, and other non-gaming venues. No specific company is endorsed here, but most ad agencies or direct response marketing companies will know about these options.
7. Prospect Gaming Database
Most of the customer acquisition tools that have been listed in this article are for non-gaming, since there is no database out there for casinos that has the ADT or true gaming worth of a customer, unless that list has been stolen! However, there is one prospect direct mail database out there where you can extrapolate the player value by reviewing their Credit Card Cash Advances made at competing casinos. The volume of cash advances, average amount and frequency can give you a general guideline for their expected ADT. This database isn’t available to everyone, so contact your ATM provider to see if this is available. This program is the only true gaming database that’s legally available, and although it is somewhat costly, the ROI is tremendous when done correctly.
8. Strategic Partnerships with Casinos
Strategic Partnerships can be a great way to leverage your player database and another company that has a similar database, but that you don’t really compete with. Case in point – most people who gamble in casinos around the country go to Las Vegas at least once a year, so it makes sense to partner with one of these casinos to exchange players. Make sure that if you do a program like this, that it is mutually beneficial and that your casino is getting the best value. Specifically, this means that you should be able to select players from the partner database who reside close to your property, but haven’t played there. This program shouldn’t have any additional costs besides the mail costs, but opportunity costs may have to be evaluated.
9. Strategic Partnerships with Credit Card and Other Related Companies
Strategic Partnerships can also be created with other companies, such as credit card, hotel, rental car, and other travel-related companies. Many of these relationships will only apply to bigger properties, such as in Vegas, but there are certainly many Indian Casinos and other commercial properties outside of Vegas that can take advantage of these partnerships. For example, a partnership with a credit card company’s marketing division can get you access into their database of customers who have made hotel transactions at competing properties. And sometimes your credit card partner will even give you marketing dollars in order to do this, since they benefit from the additional volume of credit card transactions. Yes – this is possible! You just need to be a little creative.
10. Reactivation of Your Inactive Customers
Believe it or not, your best Customer Acquisition option is sitting right in your own database! How is that possible? Well, most casinos only market to their active database, so basically 80% of their database doesn’t get marketed to. The reason we don’t market to these customers is that direct mail has become too expensive, and some databases are well over 1MM+ and you certainly can’t send DM to that many people. The solution is to perform an email append to these customers, so that you get the email addresses of all these inactive customers. The cost of sending an email is so small, that you can send an email to 1MM+ customers without incurring a major cost. The ROI on this is tremendous, as it’s always easier to get an old customer back than getting a new customer in.
In conclusion, most of the above Customer Acquisition programs are tried and true, and they all generate ROI. Most of them are also very easy to implement and maintain. Of course, you will have to experiment and see which ones work best for you. Now go out and get some new customers!
The Five Data Decisions that Can Improve Your Casino ROI
Driving revenue with your data
by Tino Magnatta
Most of the time, we have revenue and/or cost savings right under our nose. Yup, it’s there – in our own databases! The idea with data is to always manipulate it so that you can use the same data in di erent ways. After all, you own the data.
Here are five recommended data services that are inexpensive and easy ways to generate tremendous ROI, or realize major cost savings:
1. Physical Address Hygiene/Correction
Of course, it’s standard procedure to do an NCOA (National Change of Address) before you do anything with your data, especially before dropping a direct mail piece. Infant NCOA is actually required to be performed by the USPS every 90 days to realize signs can't postal discounts. NCOA not only provides you with the physical address change, but it will also standardize your address to postal standards, and provide you with a deliverability score. This way, you know which records will and will not get delivered beforehand, so you can save on your postal cost. Additional optional processes are available, including what we refer to as “super hygiene” – this process ags your records if they are deceased, in prison, in nursing homes, in the military, etc.
By doing the above, you advance closer to a perfectly clean database producing better ROI since you’re not wasting money.
Quick Tip: Make sure that after you perform the NCOA, that you update your database in your CMS system and/ or Data Warehouse. If this isn’t done, within four years, your data will possibly be undeliverable, as the NCOA only goes back 48 months.
2. Residential Phone Append
That’s right – we’re talking about updating the landline telephone! You are probably thinking that no one uses a home phone anymore. In fact, over 40% of customers still utilize landlines, and the majority of those customers are older customers, who are the primary target market for casinos. By performing a residential phone append, you will get all the landline phone numbers that you do not currently have from your customers. is process is totally legal and has been around for decades – there are virtually no legal restrictions to utilizing landline numbers, as long as you conform to the Do-Not-Call (DNC) laws, and many phone append providers will suppress this info as well (to your existing phone numbers and the appended phone numbers). As long as you have established a business relationship with your customer for 18 months, you can call your guest even if they are on the DNC list, as long as they haven’t specically asked for you not to call them. These landline phone numbers are very valuable, as now your hosts or telemarketing department can call these guests who were not previously reachable by phone. Phone calls have the highest conversion rate of any form of marketing available (including Direct Mail!), so if your hosts are missing landline numbers, they should get them. Another way in which we have seen the effectiveness of phone calls is pre-trip calls, where you contact your guest by phone prior to their arrival. is has two functions: you can verify any info, but you can also upsell them by offering a special promotion if they take the offer when you call them. As an example, a guest is coming on Friday for the weekend, and you offer him and his wife two-for-one tickets to an event or a 20% discount at a restaurant where you want to increase revenue, etc. Not to mention that if your operators are skilled, the customer develops a relationship with the host/telemarketer and feels good that they are being called and asked to come to the casino! Raving’s Partner, Engagex, can help with any calls that you can’t handle internally.
So get those landline numbers, as they are very valuable!
Insider Tip: Although Cell Phone Appends are available, there are numerous laws that restrict you from calling cell phones or sending SMS messages without permission. Cell Phone Appends should only be used to verify information.
3. Email Update a.k.a. ECOA (Email Change of Address)
If you look at email the same way as direct mail, you will understand that the same rationale applies to updating email records as with your direct mail records. What this means is that if you have email recipients who have not responded for a period of time (generally 6-12 months, but this can be whatever your inactive frequency is), then it means that the customer has changed their email, just like they would change their physical address, but with email, it happens more often. Take into consideration that most people have 4-5 email addresses and they change them frequently, so if you have emails with old domains like AOL and Yahoo, the chances are that your customer is not checking that email (even though it gets delivered). An email update will nd the up-to-date email that the customer actually opens and BINGO, more revenue! is service is also very inexpensive and easy to do, and the emails are not just the ones that are not responding, but youcanalsodobouncedemailsand ndtheemailthat works. An email update is readily available and works just like any other data service that we write about – SIMPLE, FAST, INEXPENSIVE, WITH HUGE ROI!
4. Telephone/Email Verification
The telephone and email verification processes are for the phone numbers and emails that you currently have on le. By performing these verifcations, you can be better informed and avoid potentially major issues.
A.) Telephone Verification – is process identifes whether your phone number is valid or invalid, and isolates whether the phone number is a cell phone, landline, VOIP, etc. Remember, the rules for telemarketing or sending SMS to cell phones are highly restrictive, but most casinos don’t know which number the customer is giving to them, so this solves a potentially huge problem. And by identifying invalid phone numbers, you can save on time and telemarketing costs for your hosts, and then send those invalid numbers for a phone append.
B.) Email Verification – Many times a casino can collect emails – whether it be through kiosks, websites or in person, but they wind up sending these emails out before checking to see if they are deliverable. is process will verify if your emails are deliverable and if they are on any problematic lists, such as known spamtraps. is will alleviate issues such as high bounce rates, unsubscribes, complaints, etc. Again, make sure to perform an email update for those emails that come back as invalid after the email verification.
5. Lifestyle/Demographic Append
When doing any of the above services, keep in mind that you can get a lot more invaluable information about your customers. There are over 100 lifestyle/demographic profiles that you can find, and these are even more inexpensive than the above strategies. Some of the things that you can find out about your customers are:
• Household Income(or even as specific as Disposable Income)
• Music Preferences
• Sports Preferences
• Gourmet Food/Wine Lovers
These lifestyle profiles can be invaluable. For example:
A.) Household Income/Disposable Income Select – This can enhance your current data about the customer, as not only can you nd out household income, but dispos- able income as well, which can be a better predictor for gaming and spending behavior.
B.) Ethnicity/Primary Language Spoken Select – This can provide you with invaluable information about your guests, especially if you want to target Asian gamers, or if you are in an area where speci c languages may be more dominant, such as Spanish. is select will allow you to tailor your messages in a specific language and produce greater ROI.
C.) Music Preference is another valuable select, as casinos can actually make decisions about what acts to book based on these pro les, so that they’re tailored to your customers’ preferences. So if you know which of your clients are Country music fans, you can speci cally target a country music act for those guests.
D.) Sports Preferences – is can assist the casino in many marketing programs, such as nding out which of your customers are golfers, or perhaps if you have a UFC or NASCAR event, you can find out which of your customers follow these sports and market to them accordingly.
E.) Gourmet Food/Wine Lovers Select – As we already know, non-gaming revenue is becoming more important to casinos. This select can help you target customers who are interested in the gourmet food/wine experience – so if you’re launching a new restaurant, have an existing restaurant promotion, or might have a special winemakers’ dinner, you’ll know who to target!
Remember, your database is the most valuable thing that you have, and by implementing the above strategies, you’ll optimize your revenue and the results will astound you. But there is another thing to consider, and that is the message. Depending on the medium, the message should always be different, but so many times we send out the same message across all platforms, and most of the time the message does not fit the medium. Take into consideration that a DM piece is read differently than an email; when you see an email, you read the subject line first and then the email. With direct mail, you see one side of the whole piece when you open the envelope, and with social media the content must be much stronger, as you’re scrolling at a rapid pace and stop for those messages that grab your eye. Also, inactives should be treated differently than actives, as the offer must be stronger and the message is more impactful when it comes on multiple platforms.
Your data is the engine that drives revenue, so keep tuning it and refining it; never stop and you will see that your revenue will skyrocket. Remember, treat your customers like you’re inviting them into your home and they are your personal guests. is will go a long way, and the key is to continually refine your skills in life and business.
The strength of your email campaign…is only as good as the number of email addresses you have.
by Tino Magnatta
Is this your casino? You spend a tremendous amount of time training your players club reps to politely ask for email addresses. You work with your promotions coordinators and other frontline staff to gather email addresses, and you invest in kiosks to stimulate email collection. You know that communicating by email is a huge opportunity and the preferred method for many of your players. Yet, there are so many holes in your email database or you experience incredibly low response rates...
Why do so many of us have such lousy email databases? Most of us only give out our “real” email address to folks we are serious about doing business with. And if we HAVE to give up an email address in order to get rewarded, we’ll give out old ones that we’ve abandoned or very seldom check (maybe your old AOL or Yahoo account?). Or we just say “NO” when asked for our email address.
Our casino customers are just the same. Let’s face it, they don’t want to spend another second giving you more info than they have to; they want to go and have fun, AND most likely, they haven’t been sold on the benefits of receiving your emails.
What’s the easiest and most affordable option for fixing your email database problem?
According to Raving’s newest Partner, Tino Magnatta, Co-Founder, GT Advertising Casino Email Append (GT) , the result of this is that casino databases have, on average, only 20-30% of email addresses versus names and addresses. And a majority of the email addresses that casinos do have are anemic, because guests aren’t checking that email address anymore.
There’s a solution to this. It’s called email appending and email updating, and if you’re not doing it, then you’re missing a huge opportunity to build your email database with active email addresses. And WAIT, it’s not unethical or illegal. You are reaching out to your guests who’ve already signed up for a players club card with you or have done business with you, and you’re asking permission about whether they’d like to receive your emails.
So, this is how it works:
Email appending is the process of taking your existing database and matching email addresses to your names by using third party databases. The simple explanation is that there are databases that have opt-in information that your database can be matched to and find the missing info that you need – in this case, email addresses. Email appending is completely legal as long as the name you are appending has been to your casino, and we know that they have since there’s a players card number that has all of their info, except for the email address.
This process (if done by a reputable company like GT) is completely CAN-SPAM compliant and endorsed by the DMA. The email update process works in the same way, but it finds the customer’s most current email address that they actually check, so all those emails that have not been opened for months will now be opened.
With GT, after the email addresses have been matched to your player database, they’ll send out an email on your behalf, requesting permission from the client in order to send them your email communications. You will only receive email addresses from customers who have given permission.
The email appending process is simple, inexpensive (compared to most things that you are doing in marketing) and very effective (click here to read a case study). It will bring your database up to a level that allows you to start confidently utilizing email campaigns, taking advantage of the low cost.
Tino shares this guide to email appending and updating:
1. Make sure that you are “email appending” your entire database every quarter, including inactives; this will add 50-60% of email addresses to your database, and also allows you to communicate to your valuable inactive database in a cost-effective manner.
2. Make sure that you are “email updating” those emails that have not been opened for 4-6 months; this will get you a new email address that your customers are actually checking.
3. Make sure that your database is squeaky clean before and after the append process.
4. Make sure that all of your efforts bring you to a ratio of 75-80% of email addresses to hard addresses.
5. Make sure that you continue to do this every quarter so that your database is squeaky clean, and you have all the updated info to make your email strategy a huge profit center.
You know that reaching your customer via email is not expensive (especially compared to the high cost of print) and might be the best way to communicate to specific tiers of players. Emailing gives marketers a huge opportunity to not only test offers and promotions, but to fill rooms, concerts and increase response to promotions.
If you’re not already doing email appending and updating, please contact Tino Magnatta, Raving Partner, at , or call 310-699-9442 and ask about their inexpensive, no-risk program. You only pay for your players’ email addresses that you don’t already have – and the low cost easily pays for itself. Your data is secure – they’ve worked with over 200 casinos – just click on this link to see a video testimonial from Conrad Granito, General Manager, Muckleshoot Casino.
Please welcome our newest Partner and resource, Tino Magnatta of GT!
President and Chief Strategist
Raving Consulting Company
(just kidding – that’s an old one that I give to people who I really don’t want to hear from)
PS – Be a hero to your marketing team! Here’s an inexpensive and powerful marketing tool that can greatly improve your email database … there’s no complicated process, and with it being so affordable, why wouldn’t you just do it? Contact Tino Magnatta, Raving Partner, at , or give him a holler at 310-699-9442 today.
Take this simple quiz and Discover the true facts about email.
by Tino Magnatta
My customers are older and don't use email – True or False?
Most people have an email address, If they don't, they can't do anything online. Studies show that the older demographic is web savvy and the number one thing they use online is email.
Seniors need to be online as it makes their life easier and Facebook (FB) helps them keep in touch with family, friends and distant relatives.Remember, there is nothing you can do online (other than research or surf , etc.) without an email address. Another important fact, is if someone does not have an email address, you would not be able to market to them via email anyway!
Conversions with email are much less than direct mail – True or False?
True in one sense & False in another
Most casinos only market to their active casino database via direct mail. Active depends on the property and region but it’s usually every 6-to-12 months. Active customers are very responsive to direct mail, but this usually only represents 20% of the casinos' entire database. It’s too cost prohibitive to hard mail to the other 80% of the database, which includes inactive, low-end casino and hotel segments.Email, however, allows you to communicate with your entire database (potentially millions of customers) for virtually nothing. This allows you to match or sometimes exceed direct mail conversion rates, especially considering the cost of direct mail. Email also allows for the flexibility of sending out last minute offers to impact hotel occupancy, casino events, concert/entertainment and convention issues, something that direct mail can't do!
The problem with most casinos is that they only have 20-30% of emails compared to their entire DM database. This is where an email append to your entire database comes into play. Email append is proven to impact your overall marketing programs and business. Once casinos perform this email append process, they are able to send out a lot more emails so their conversion rates will match or even exceed Direct Mail!
Click here to learn more about email append.
I don't want to harass my customers with emails…they are already getting DM from us – True or False?
Remember email is the only digital tool where we welcome getting promotions ,and why is that? Consumers have control over what they read and if they're not interested, they won't open an email.Gamblers especially have come to accept the value in reading their emails from a casino where they've had a great experience. Consider this - consumers will open your email because they are already your customers and if they see the right offer they will take action. Most people open email offers that interest them and provide value!
If you have a large and clean email database with great strategy, your emails will be potentially be the largest profit center in your marketing arsenal!
I would rather not go too far back into my database. As far as sending emails, those records are old and inactive – True or False?
Your inactive email addresses and old records are a gold mine! Casinos' very rarely take advantage of this opportunity.Sending email to your inactive customers is effective and here’s how it’s done:
• All old information can be updated, including NCOA (National Change of Address) to update postal records, and Email Update, to update email records. Remember, many of your customers signed up a long time ago when they had AOL or Yahoo email addresses, and most have switched to Gmail, Outlook, etc.
• Inactive Gamblers have not stopped gambling, you just haven’t spoken to them for a while, so they’re likely playing somewhere else. Once you have their new information completely updated, this is your next step…
• Email is your best friend now, It costs nothing to send email, and it's the only way you can market to these customers because there are so many of them!
The vital question is how do we get their email addresses?
• Email Append is the answer (CasinoEmailAppend.com) - this process will get you all the emails you need and allow you to communicate to your gamblers, with new appended or updated emails of your own customers!
So you've turned an old database with old records into a new database with fresh updated records. Now you have the most powerful marketing tool in digital media – Email!
I can replace my DM campaigns with emails – True or False?
False. (Except for the low-end tier and, if applicable, hotel databases.)
At this point, nothing will replace the response you get for hard mailing to your Active Casino database (mid to high-end). However, email is very powerful as it allows you to communicate to all your customers (including low-end, hotel and inactive databases) at a fraction of the cost of Direct Mail. Email offers can also be tiered out just like DM. Studies have shown that tiered offers via email can have similar or sometimes even exceed the DM response. This is especially true for lower tiers that are targeted with email.
When you do the math, you get better results from email on your lower end tiers vs. the cost of the postage and the DM piece. So by eliminating that lower tier and incorporating the savings into your profits, you'll be ahead using email!
The two most powerful things in your marketing department (when measured in ROI) are DM and Email. When these two tools are used properly and are running like a finely tuned engine - the profits will be rolling in!